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Parthenope: yet far more pleas'd I range
The little temperance afks, and rofy health
While the poet was contemplating the present happiness and liberty of the Swifs Cantons, it was natural for him to reflect on thofe times when that happinefs was more uncertain, and that liberty was unknown. This he does in a very pathetic manner, and celebrates the illuftrious founders of the Helvetian liberties, Werner de Staffac, Walter Furft, and Arnold de Melchtal, who in the beginning of the fourteenth century effected a revolution in the cantons of Uri, Switz, and Underwald, and threw off the affumed power of the house of
The circumftances of this revolution were very extraordinary. In 1315 the archduke Leopold, at the head of near 20,000 men, defigning to fubject their country, and attempting to enter it at a narrow pafs in the mountains called Mongarten, was by the bravery of 1400 men totally defeated. The above-mentioned. three cantons thereupon formed a confederacy, and their example being followed, other ftates threw off their dependency, and leagued with them, till by degrees they attained their prefent number of thirteen cantons. Thus Staffac, Furft, and Arnold not only became the founders of public liberty, but from the battle of Mongarten's being fought in the canton of Switz, gave name alfo to all that tract of country now denominated Switzerland, but before called Helvetia.
The battle of Morat too, where Charles le Hardi, the last duke of Burgundy, was defeated by the Swifs, in 1476, is here celebrated; but we wonder that Mr. Keate did not avail himself of one very poetical circumftance in the hiftory of that event, viz. that the Swifs afterwards built a church near the place, of the bones of thofe Burgundians who fell in the battle.
After thefe digreffions, which arofe naturally out of his fubject, the Author returns to the fcene of his poem, and gives us
a defcription of a thunderftorm in the Alps.
• The ancient name of Naples.
Heard from the turbid weft, proclaim at hand
In this description there are fome good ftrokes, but we must own that, upon the whole, it falls fhort of our idea of a thunder-ftorm in the Alps; what follows of the description is ftill more feeble, and we fhall therefore omit it.
The following winter fcene is better executed :
Far other views chill winter's hand difplays,
Th' incumbent fnow. The tall fir's loaded branch
This is accurate painting, tho' the fcenery is by no means peculiar; but it obtains that propriety from the fubfequent defcription of the ball or mass of snow called the Avalanche, which is frequently of a prodigious fize, and rolls from the Alps in particular feasons, rendering the paffages dangerous to the Traveller :
Nor let him unadvis'd the floping fide
Of the steep mountain climb, left from above
It is a commonly received opinion in thofe countries that any fudden agitation of the air, fuch as the firing a gun, loud fhouting, &c. will at certain times occafion the Avalanche.
Firft mov'd, augmenting flides, then nodding o'er
This defcription is followed by an affecting story of two lovers, one of whom perished under the Avalanche, and the other in confequence of that misfortune. The story is prettily told, much in the manner of Thomfon, but we would advise the Author to correct or omit a feeble exclamation, which follows" their wifhes," in fome future edition.
We now take our leave of this elegant and entertaining performance, which must be ranked amongst our most valuable defcriptive poems.
Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Perspective. Views of the Gardens and Buildings at Kew in Surry, the Seat of her Royal Highness the Princefs Dowager of Wales. By William Chambers, Member of the Imperial Academy of Arts at Florence, and of the Royal Academy of Architecture at Paris, Architect to the King, &c. Large Folio. 21. 2s. Printed for the Author, and fold by Millar, Dodfley, Becket, &c.
Tis with pleasure we obferve the confiderable progrefs which the polite arts have lately made in this kingdom. The encouragement they have received, indeed, from perfons of the firft diftinction, and particularly under the aufpices of royal favour and protection, redounds no lefs to the honour of their Patrons, than to the credit and emolument of the Artifts. Of this we have a magnificent inftance in the work before us; in the execution of which the talents of feveral of our ablest Defigners and Engravers are eminently displayed; the architectural deligns being drawn by Mr. Chambers, the figures by Signor Cipriani, and the views by Mefirs. Kirby, Thomas Sandby, and Marlow. The engravings were done by P. Sandby, Woolett, Major, Grignion, Rooker, and other masterly hands,
We wish we could fay as much in favour of the subject of thefe Defigns, as of the plates themfelves. But we cannot help looking upon the greater part of them rather as objects of curiofity than tafte. The gardens of Kew, fays Mr. Chambers, are not very large, nor is their fituation by any means advantageous; as it is low, and commands no profpects. Originally the ground
was one continued dead flat: the foil was in genetal barren, and without either wood or water. With fo many difadvantages it was not eafy to produce any thing even tolerable in gardening: but princely munificence, and an able Director, have overcome all difficulties, and converted what was once a defert into an Eden.
We fhall not endeavour to depreciate the merit of overcoming difficulties of this kind: but, for our part, we think that art never appears fo graceful as when the acts as a fimple attendant, or humble hand-mald, to nature. Lewis the XIV th, indeed, is faid to have raised the fplendid gardens of Verfailles on as unfavourable a fpot; but we know not that his choice of it hath ever been attributed to the goodness, or elegance, of his tafte.
As to the gardens of Kew, they may probably be laid out as well as the nature of the place would permit; but with regard to the ornaments and buildings, we cannot fufficiently regret, that a fondness for the unmeaning falbaias of Turkis and Chinefe chequer-work, fhould fo far prevail over a taste for the beautiful models of Grecian and Roman architecture. There are fome defigns, indeed, in the prefent publication, made after the latter but a very confiderable part of it confifts,
Of Mofques, Alhambas, Temples, Lings groteíque,
in the execution of which the Artifts have been employed fomething like thofe of the noble Peer, to whom, as Mr. Pope fays, Some demon whisper'd, "Timon have a tafle."
By this reflection, however, we only mean to cenfure the prevailing influence of fashion; and by no means to drop the least invidious inuendo against the liberal Promoters of the polite arts, and ftill much less against the munificent Patronefs of this fplendid and masterly publication. K-n-k
Letters of the Right Hon. Lady M-y Wy M Written, during her Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to Perfons of Diftinction, Men of Letters, &c. in different Parts of Europe. Which contain among other curious Relations, Accounts of the Policy and Manners of the Turks; drawn from Sources that have been inacceffible to other Travellers. 6s. fewed. Becket and Dehondt.
Small 8vo. 3 vols.
HAT Pope obferved, of Voiture's works, may, with equal truth, be faid of these L Letters, that All
< Writer lives in every line. They form, indeed, an admirable picture, a ftriking resemblance, of the celebrated Lady who wrote them. There is no affectation of female delicateffe, there are no prettynesses, no Ladyifms* in these natural, easy, familiar Epiftles; which (notwithstanding Lady M- might afterwards be inclined to give them to the public) have not the air of being wrote for the prefs, as were many of the laboured Letters which are so much admired in the correfpondence of Pope and Swift. This may, in fome meafure be prefumed, from the incorrectness of the language, in a few inftances; for, had the Writer originally defigned thefe papers for the public eye, there is no doubt but the, who was fo very capable of it, would have retouched them, and removed fuch little flaws, as appear like fmall freckles on a fine face: which, notwithstanding, is a fine face ftill.
Had Lady M― been immortal, it is probable, this collection of her Letters had never been publifhed; for it is about forty years fince they were written, and not one of them, that we recollect, ever before appeared in print. Her Ladyfhip died but a few months ago, and now we have the edition which many of her friends wifhed to fee, and which fome of them, we underftand, had particular reason to expect.
For the fatisfaction of those who may wish to know by what means, or through what hands, thefe Letters were conveyed to. the prefs, the Editor hath inferted a preface, written by a Lady, fo long ago as the year 1724; and hath alfo prefixed an advertifement from himfelf. In the former we are told, that Lady M-had the goodness to lend her MSS. to fatisfy the curiofity of the Prefacer; who, having got poffeffion of it, began to entertain hopes of "being permitted to acquaint. the public, that it owed this invaluable treasure to her importunities. But alas! adds fhe, the most ingenious Author has condemned it to obfcurity during her life. However, if thefe Letters appear hereafter, when I am in my grave, let this attend them,"-&c. From this paffage we may infer, that the prefent edition is printed from the copy delivered to this fair Prefacer; and that Lady M- had no intention of totally fuppreffing the publication of her truly curious and entertaining Letters: although the might not care to permit their appearance while fhe could herself be a witness of whatever reception they might meet with, from a capricious and a malicious world. And certainly fhe had reafon
A certain News-paper Critic has charged this affectation upon her, with this very expreffion; for which we duly reverence the taste and dif-cernment of the faid News-paper Critic.